I just tried to ask a question and was presented with this warning:

Previous questions not well relieved

It threatens to bar me from the site. If I was consistently ignoring the rules or being rude then fair play, but I've asked a few questions, and they have a reasonable score.

Question history

What's happening? I'm pretty sure I'm a good Internet citizen, so this seems very harsh.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ You also have one deleted question at a score of $-1$, but a warning with one closed question and one deleted with a score of $-1$ while having two positively scored questions, one at $+13$, seems exaggerated. However, the closed zero-score and the deleted negative-score questions are your newest questions, and newer questions get a greater weight in the algorithm, as far as I know. Perhaps the thresholds for the warning need a little tweaking. $\endgroup$ Jun 5, 2015 at 9:35
  • $\begingroup$ I'd assumed that deleting a question was akin to putting your hand up and saying 'OK, my bad'. Unless there is a large number of deleted, destructive questions then it seems very stern indeed. Am I really in danger of being blocked from asking questions? $\endgroup$
    – BanksySan
    Jun 5, 2015 at 9:46
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ This was deleted by the community bot, so it's not quite putting your hand up. But yes, one deleted question isn't much, even when 25% is a relatively high percentage. I don't know the algorithm, so I can't speak with certainty. But I've seen worse profiles that weren't blocked, so I would say you're not in immediate danger. However, if you ask a very badly received question, or a few badly received ones, that could put you below the threshold. So my advice would be to tread cautiously, but not be overly alarmed. $\endgroup$ Jun 5, 2015 at 9:54
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ According to meta.SO: "The specific criteria for these aren't public largely for the same reasons the quality block criteria aren't public, but let's just say that folks who are nearing hitting a block will be getting a heads up and some instructions first." So, if I understand it correctly, we do not know exact criteria when a user is blocked from asking questions $\endgroup$ Jun 5, 2015 at 10:43
  • $\begingroup$ Whatever the criteria may be, if the message appears with this track record, the criteria are wrong, or at the friendliest, "need tweaking". Simple as that. $\endgroup$
    – Lord_Farin
    Jun 5, 2015 at 14:12
  • $\begingroup$ @Lord_Farin Half of the user's questions are either closed or deleted. A warning (not a block) seems reasonable. A warning does not mean that the user can't contribute good material; it's supposed to help them avoid contributing subpar material. $\endgroup$
    – user147263
    Jun 5, 2015 at 15:41
  • $\begingroup$ @HomegrownTomato I can see that. I just think that judgement ought to be postponed until like 4 "bad" questions/answers have appeared. $\endgroup$
    – Lord_Farin
    Jun 5, 2015 at 15:58
  • $\begingroup$ A threat to be banned that soon, for very minor transgressions is rather draconian. Perhaps the algorithm used to spot baddies should be tweaked to include the quality of responses? The deleted question has a perfectly valid response, so someone did understand the question and the context and explained the answer as well. $\endgroup$
    – BanksySan
    Jun 5, 2015 at 19:10

1 Answer 1


The trigger for the warning is pretty straightforward; it looks at your recent posts and tries to guess whether or not if the question you're about to write will do well on the site. If your last post was poorly-received, it will warn you. If a significant % of your previous posts were poorly-received, it will warn you.

At a certain reputation level, the warning is disabled.

You fell into a bit of an edge-case, I suppose: your most recent questions were not particularly well-received... But also not particularly recent. We could avoid this with a cut-off date (a year maybe?) after which posts would no longer be considered; that said, it is fairly rare that someone in your situation encounters this warning.


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